Tomb of Annihilation Session 73 Recap

A conjured earth elemental comes in handy as the party descends into the second level of the Tomb.

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Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 9 Yuan-ti Inquisitive Rogue/Divination Wizard
Khaless, level 9 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 9 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 9 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue – inhabited by Moa
Therin, level 9 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon – inhabited by Obo’laka

Last week’s session ended in a cliffhanger, with Mannix waking up the mummy inside Wongo’s tomb, with only half the party beyond the wind blade tunnel. The mummy emerged and showered waves of fear using its Mace of Terror, but all three PCs in the room made the save.

Annoyed, the monkey-mummy punched Mannix with a Rotting Fist – a crit, and down goes Mannix. Roll for Initiative!

Few surprise rounds are as exciting as downing a player in one hit. There was an extra complication courtesy of the Mummy Rot curse – Mannix couldn’t regain hit points. Yet he was bleeding out. Uh oh.

A Scroll of Remove Curse rolled out from his body, and Gillian leapt into the pit to scoop it up. The rules for using spell scrolls state that the spell must be on a class’s spell list to even read it. Remove Curse is neither a Bard nor a Druid spell. Uh oh!

I ruled that Gillian could roll an Arcana check (DC 15) to decipher the scroll, she nailed the roll, though it would take her full action. Thankfully Khaless was there to jump down and keep the mummy busy.

Meanwhile George and Therin were still in the grand staircase area, beyond the wind blade tunnel. Therin Conjured an Earth Elemental – later realizing that it takes a minute to cast (perhaps as contrition, Reese was incredibly helpful throughout the session, earning inspiration for reminding me of various rules and checks).

The Earth Elemental moved into the corridor and tried to jam the blades, but failed the challenging Athletics check and was spit out the other side. George took a chance and ran through it, nailing the Acrobatics check. The party respected that fan, yet all of them have been able to jump through unscathed so far!

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Gillian removed the mummy curse while Khaless and the elemental destroyed the mummy. Mannix was revived (forgot to have him roll CON save for Lasting Injury – next session!), but it was Khaless who grabbed the mummy’s mace, failed the possession, and became inhabited by the spirit of Wongo, the violent and crazy monkey spirit, and gaining a new psychic assault ability.

This time the elemental succeeded on bracing the fan blades and the party was able to run back out of the tunnel. With three party members inhabited by Omuan gods and the first level completely explored, the party descended down the stairs into the second level, the Dungeon of Deception.

Level two features a plaque with another cryptic message of clues pertaining to rooms on this level, as well as hallways to the north and east, and a large stone door to the south (and more stairs leading down).

The hallway to the north connected to a small room with another green devil face set into the middle of the floor, mouth full of darkness. Mannix used his owl familiar to see inside, noting that it dropped down into a deeper level of the tomb, and a complicated puzzle room involving a grid floor of symbols, and the skeletal remains of a dwarf. Realizing that each floor has its own message of clues, they opted not to jump down too hastily.

The east hallway held the gravity ring, but I obscured it initially, and altered it a bit from what is written in the campaign book. I can’t go into details in case they return there, and ultimately they decided not to enter at all, as Mannix detected magic there and saw the dead body of one of the Company of the Yellow Banner.

Using Mage Hand Mannix was able to nab the magic staff (needs to be identified), spellbook, and the final note that explains how the doomed party was captured and thrown into this dungeon, and that he was the last survivor.

A marble floor room to the east held a sarcophagus, with four imposing gargoyle heads surrounding it. None of the gods inside the PCs’ heads recognized this tomb, however. Mannix could detect magic on the sarcophagus and the light, and Therin dispelled the magic on the sarcophagus – but not the light. “The Dead Abhor Sunlight,” was one of the clues!

The party played it very safe in this room, using the Earth Elemental to open the sarcophagus while the rest stood in the hallway. The light hit the plaque inside that read “Drown your sorrows,” as the doorway began to close and wine began pouring out of the gargoyles’ mouths. All the PCs remained in the hallway, leaving the earth elemental inside.

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Since it was only an NPC in there, I montage’d through the entire room, which involves the room filling up with wine over a number of rounds, and a trio of Wine Weirds (water weirds) attacking anyone inside. The earth elemental took a lot of damage but emerged victorious.

After a few minutes the doorway opened up, and the wine began flowing into the hallway where all the PCs stood. The earth elemental braced some of the wine, helping divert the flow, and the party took only minor damage as it sloshed down the hallway and into the staircase.

The false tomb room was empty with the party barely lifting a finger. However, they hadn’t so much as short rested since Moa’s tomb, and everyone was running low on spell slots and hovering around 50% health.

With the wine empty, the party noticed that one of the gargoyle mouth tunnels went further than the others. The southwest opening led into a completely different room to the south. Mannix and Therin crawled through the tunnel and saw a salt pentagram surrounding another tomb, this one with grung imagery. Alas, the earth elemental, which had been so useful this session, had to be left behind.

Grung is a cue for George, who quickly shimmied his way through the tight crawlspace and into the room. Khaless and Gillian begrudgingly followed.

George’s Bandana of Truesight revealed the invisible Grey Slaad within the pentagram. He tried to communicate with it, and the Slaad replied telepathically: “OUT. LET. ME. OUT.” George stepped across the pentagram, and the Slaad attacked, launching a fireball into the room. The damage was disappointingly low, and those in the tunnel had advantage on the save, but it still worried the party as they had no idea what they were dealing with.

Urged by Wongo, Khaless crossed the salt barrier, purposefully breaking it, and raised the Mace of Terror, targeting both the Slaad and George, as George is possessed by Wongo’s hated rival Moa. The Slaad resisted but George did not, sending the poor tortle scurrying back into the tunnel, nose-t0-nose with an annoyed Gillian. The two would grapple for several rounds before she relented, with George pushing past her so she could join the fight.

Khaless stood toe-to-toe with the beast, though its claws dug into her, and with no one else in melee, she was unable to get her sneak attack off. Mannix discovered that the creature had magic resistance and fire resistance after using Moradin’s Gauntlet. The entire fight was a comedy of errors, making it much more challenging than a normal single creature battle (albeit CR 9) would be for the party.

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However, the Slaad wasn’t dumb. It was doing well so far but was vastly outnumbered, and with the pentagram barrier broken, it saw an opportunity. On the third round it turned invisible. George was still whimpering in the tunnel, unable to see him. Instead the party saw a secret door in the west wall move, and the slaad was gone. Where is it going, and will we see it again?

Nangnang’s tomb lie in front of them, and Mannix opened the sarcophagus and reached into the urn inside (you’d think he would have learned his lesson). He failed a WIS save and was struck with the urge to dance, taking 2d10 psychic damage. Therin failed to dispel it, and Mannix took more damage before Gillian was able to succeed. Having three PCs able to cast Dispel Magic is pretty useful!

Mannix claimed his prize, a petrified grung egg that acted as a Pearl of Power, and willfully allowed the spirit of Nangnang to possess him, making him selfish and cruel but granting a climbing speed and the ability to walk on walls. George will definitely not be happy to have a grung god walking around next to him! With all the godly possessions the party dynamics are beginning to get quite complicated.

Voted MVPC – Therin

Live streamed and uploaded every week on YouTube. Join us live on Fridays at 7pm Pacific/10pm Eastern!

Support my channel via Patreon!

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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